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Can Diet or Supplements Prevent or Delay Relapse?

Last update: 05/20/2013


Can diet fight an existing lymphoma? 

Once you get clean from lymphoma how do you stay clean? Any good suggestions on things to avoid? Detoxifying foods, teas, vitamins to take? Any advice is appreciated. 

Diet to fight cancer?

If you are reading this you know that it's very difficult to wait and worry about relapse.    

We all wants this to be true, because dietary changes are unlikely to have side effects and adopting a healthful diet can improve general health, fitness, and quality of life.

... So we wholeheartedly encourage patients and caregivers to adopt health-promoting lifestyle practices ... including regular exercise.

However, we are not aware of any clinical studies that suggest or prove that diet can influence the clinical course of an existing lymphoma.  If you are aware of such a clinical study, please .

What about testimonials?

Unfortunately, testimonials are not evidence for many reasons: see The Problem with Testimonials  

Regarding herbs and supplements, be aware that herbal products have not been regulated by FDA, and that herbs sometimes contain contaminants or the wrong ingredients when examined. 

See FDA proposed rule to promote (not ensure) 
that dietary supplements do NOT have:


the wrong ingredients


too much or too little of a dietary ingredient


improper packaging or labeling


contamination due to natural toxins, bacteria, pesticides, glass, lead, or other substances

Importantly, there is no evidence that taking herbs can influence the course of a lymphoma, or prevent a relapse.  Please see also the many caveats of supplement use .

Regarding detoxification strategies, it's seems best to leave this to natural processes, but it can be health-promoting to include whole foods (containing fiber) in your diet and maintaining your hydration (good fluid intake). 

... Importantly, so called detoxifying programs may lead to electrolyte imbalance, which can make you less well.  While chronic exposure to toxins is associated with increased life-time risk of developing some cancers, there is no evidence to show that detoxifying can reverse an existing cancer. 

See Detoxifying as Cancer Treatment?  See Enemas - 

However, avoiding sources of environmental toxins (cigarette smoke, etc.) will help you to maintain your health and reduce the risk of secondary diseases, even if it cannot delay a relapse, or reverse an existing lymphoma. 

For an excellent guidance document on this topic:

CA Cancer J Clin 2012: Nutrition and physical activity guidelines
for cancer survivors   | PDF version - printable

discusses select nutrition and physical activity issues such as body
weight, food choices, food safety, and dietary supplements; issues
 related to selected cancer sites; and common questions about diet,
physical activity, and cancer survivorship.
See also General Diet Guidance 

And who knows, doing so might have additional undeterminable benefits
as well, but again, this can't be known and there is so far no
plausible scientific evidence to make such claims. 
bullet Complementary and alternative (CAM) dietary therapies for cancer.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2008 Feb;50(2 Suppl):494-7; discussion 498. Review.
PMID:18064662  Related articles 


~ KarlS

Disclaimer:  The information on is not intended to be a substitute for 
professional medical advice or to replace your relationship with a physician.
For all medical concerns, you should always consult your doctor. 
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